Leading Change
Leading Change
Mr.  LAFREDERICK  M.  THIRKILL
Principal

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Principal

Native of Chattanooga, LaFrederick Thirkill earned his B.S. in Music Education from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He later earned both a M.A. and Ed. S. in Instructional Leadership and Supervision from Tennessee Technological University. After serving nine years as a Music teacher and four years as an Assistant Principal, Mr. Thirkill was appointed Principal of Orchard Knob Elementary in 2012.

Recognized as the first teacher to earned National Board Certification while working in Hamilton County schools, Mr. Thirkill was named the 2013 Hamilton Co. PTA Elementary Principal of the Year and HCEA's Distinguished Administrator of the Year. He was also named the 2014 East Tennessee Distinguised Administrator of the year by the Tennessee Education Association. He has also received many other awards and recognition for his continued advocacy and support for schools, teachers, students, and parents. He has been featured in local and national newspapers, magazines, and journals for his work in Education.

His work as leader and educator extend beyond the walls of the school, where Mr. Thirkill is recognized for his work as a community activist, historian, musician, composer, actor, playwright, and public speaker. He believes that is his daily responsibility to make purposeful contributions that enhance the quality of life for others. 

As Principal, Mr. Thirkill has demonstrated effective leadership that is evident in; continued increase of academic achievement, teacher retention, student attendance, and increased parent/community partnerships and involvement. He is honored to serve as Principal of OKES and proud to be a resident in the community he serves.